You know you’re in France when under the table next to you, there’s a well-behaved, blond spaniel sitting there, giving you the sad eyes. Sorry pooch—you’re cute (and I love dogs) but this meal is mine. Heck, it took me a full day just to get here!
The bistro at Pic in Valence was renovated earlier this year. It now has a very modern decor with blue-gray slate set off by red chairs and cushions. I do miss the old, classic Provençal look, but the food hasn’t changed. My civet de biche was delicious—rich and earthy, but very refined as well. A perfect match with a half-bottle of ’04 Crozes-Hermitage from Graillot.
My appetizer was a delightful bowl of sautéed ceps. They were both fleshy and firm, sweet and earthy—a trick that only fresh, wild mushrooms can pull off. We should probably call it a ‘cep meter' for this trip, and start moving the needle upward.